Thursday, 18 February 2016

The Stylist Blog Tour: An Interview with the Author Rosie Nixon

Rosie Nixon has been joint Editor of HELLO! for the past five years where she relishes the role of hands-on editor with a love of all things celebrity, royal and fashion-related. She previously held senior positions at glossy women's magazines including  Grazia, Glamour and Red. In her career she has been lucky enough to attend a multitude of glamorous award ceremonies, premières and showbiz weddings all around the world. Ever discreet and protective of the big stars she has worked with, Rosie's experience has undoubtedly enabled her to write her debut novel, The Stylist.
A very warm welcome to you Rosie, and can I thank you, for taking time out of your schedule to talk to us today. For the benefit of our International readers can you tell us a bit about the part of the world that you are currently resident in and why you like living there?
I'm a born and bred Londoner, grew up in North London, now live south of the river (don’t ask my parents about this migration). I'm married and have two boys under the age of two, we live in South West London with our crazy cat, Archie. You can never become bored of living in this city, as there’s always something new to discover. I still get a buzz when I walk over Waterloo Bridge and admire the view. London is in my blood.

What sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child?
I was a huge Judy Blume fan. Otherwise Known As Sheila The Great, was the first book of hers that I read and she instantly spoke to teenagers in a language we could understand. She dealt with issues to do with body image, boys, friendships and parents so well. Roald Dahl’s books were firm favourites in our family, and I loved reading Charlotte’s Webb.

Do you think the books that you read as a child have influenced your writing in any way?
I was inspired to start writing my own diary when I read The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole as a teen. This probably started my love of writing for my own enjoyment and not feeling you have to be deadly serious about it. I have a natural comic tone.

Do you have a set routine when you are working on a novel?
No - being a mum to two boys under the age of two means that I have to fit in my writing whenever they are sleeping – which currently varies from day to day. I wrote most of The Stylist pre-babies though and much of it on my iPhone, whenever and wherever an idea or a bit of prose came to me. As a result much of it was on the tube, in taxis, in bed, or first thing in the morning before going to the office.

Where do you do your writing best?
For some reason I love writing on aeroplanes, a long-haul flight to LA (without children!) is my ideal writing scenario – no phone, no emails, no distractions – the words flow.’

What else apart from your obvious professional interest in writing, helped you decide to actually write a novel?
I was a prolific story teller and letter-writer as a child and kept a diary as a teenager – I was always finding a reason to write and dreamed of being Anne Frank, but with a less traumatic back story. Writing a novel was an ambition from an early age, so seeing The Stylist in hardback is like a dream come true.
How do you go about imagining and developing the lives and personalities of the characters that we read about within in your book?
Once I found the voice of my main character, Amber Green, I found that the ideas kept on coming and it all flowed. Writing became a compulsion and I couldn't wait to see where the book was going to take her. I worked out a rough plot for the storyline and within that framework I made things up as I went along, I think it’s important to let your characters’ personalities develop – there may be some twists and turns that not even you, the author, see coming. For me, that is one of the great pleasures of writing a novel.

Did you encounter any difficulties in getting your book accepted and published?
I'm fortunate that my sister-in-law is a literary agent and was instrumental in getting my book accepted and published. My profile in the media clearly helped me land interest from publishers and a deal. I'm very grateful to all involved and especially the faith that the publisher (Mira, Harper Collins), have shown in me as a debut author.
 Did you have to undertake any research for your novel?
I've been lucky enough to travel to Los Angeles many times during my career and have covered the major awards ceremonies including the Oscars and BAFTAs. I've always been fascinated by the people behind the amazing gowns we see paraded so seemingly effortlessly on the red carpet and thought it would be a fun premise for a novel. There is a showbiz wedding in The Stylist and of course I've had a lot of experience of those during my role at HELLO! I couldn't help but be influenced by some of the situations I've been in when I wrote The Stylist, but all the characters are completely fictional.

What is your favourite book and why?
That’s just too hard to answer I'm afraid, I like so many books for a multitude of reasons – I have loved books that are light and humorous (like Bridget Jones’s Diary and the Tales of the City series) as much as those that have had a profound effect on me because they make you stop and think (like The Drowned and the Saved by Primo Levi). Plus some of the great classics (like The Great Gatsby and To Kill A Mockingbird) are favourites too.
What are you currently reading?
I've just started reading Strictly Between Us by Jane Fallen, I loved her novel Getting Rid of Matthew and was hooked on this one from the first page. The opening page of a book is so important.

Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you enjoy in order to give you a break from your normal routine and your writing?

I bake a mean banana loaf, I always have music on and enjoy a jig around the kitchen to a classic dance anthem with my toddler, I'm a guilty internet shopper (for some reason new shoes relax me), and I always feel better and calmer after exercising.

Can you give us a hint about any other books that you may have in the making at the moment?

Yes, I'm currently writing a sequel to The Stylist. I'm having a ball, it’s set in New York and involves more fashion dramas, parties, hangovers and matters of the heart as Amber Green relocates to the city that never sleeps and navigates her first relationship.

Rosie, I have been absolutely delighted and very honoured that you agreed to be interviewed for my literary site. I would also like to thank you again for taking the time to speak to us today.

Thank YOU Calum!

Just Released:-

If you would like to find out more about Rosie and her writing, you can find her on Twitter and Instagram:

Twitter: @Rosie_Nixon
Instagram: @rosiejnixon

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